ONE of the borough’s most popular barmen has passed away.
John Campbell, to many who knew him as Mr Harbour Bar - was laid to rest following a funeral service in Portstewart last week.
John was born in Ballymacilroy, Co.Tyrone on 7th April 1936 and went to school in Carrickmore where his father rented a pub. The family moved to Aughnacloy in 1944 where his father bought a pub and John went to school in the Boys Academy, Dungannon.
He learnt the bar trade from his father and then went to work with Quinns of The Milestone in Newry before coming to Coleraine to Jim Bradley’s bar in the Waterside. He moved to the Montague Hotel in Portstewart where he spent many happy years managing the bar for the Miss O’ Doherty’s.
In recent times John is perhaps best known locally through his association with The Harbour Bar in Portrush
The packed congregation at Star of The Sea Church in Portstewart was given an insight into another side of John’s life which he did in a quiet unassuming way. John loved people and he loved talking to people but especially he loved helping people.
He was a member of the local conference of St Vincent de Paul for over 40 years and a member of the Board of Visitors at Magilligan Prison for 10 years. He also became a lay Custody Visitor calling unannounced at Police Stations to check on those detained in the prison cells for whatever misdemeanours they were being questioned about.
He acted as Secretary and Coordinator of the North West Panel during his 10 years of service with the Police Authority. He was a committee member of Age Concern Coleraine for many years and took part in reminiscing projects with our senior citizens.
John was a Knight of St Columbanus for over 35 years and acted as Grand Knight from 1982 to 1983. He also was a Provincial or Area Grand Knight as well for one term. John also trained as a counsellor attending Magee College where he was awarded a certificate in Addiction Studies and from the Pontifical University of Maynooth he gained a Diploma in Counselling.
John never sought acclaim for all the good works he undertook in his lifetime, however through his close friend Sean Mc Gillan, John received an award from the Lord Lieutenant 10 years ago for his service to the public.